Topic: Veterans

Naylon on an operation in a village outside of Bagram, Afghanistan, 2014. Photo credit: Spc. Jamill Ford for U.S. Army

Leaders Are Forged as a Rocket Falls

In a time of crisis, initiative trumps authority when authority fails to lead.
Benjamin Abel and Eric Ellingson, his brother-in-law, prior to a parachute jump at Raeford West Drop Zone in North Carolina, in 1998. Photo courtesy of the author.

“You Either Went to War or You Didn’t”—How Deployments Divide the Veteran Community

A former soldier reflects on the differences between veterans who deployed to combat and those who didn’t. “Taps will rip out your heart every time.”
An Iraqi man out on patrol with U.S. soldiers takes a break beneath a bridge. Photo by Nathan S. Webster.

A Journalist’s Favorite Image Mirrors a  Loss

A journalist learns of death that paralleled the moment he took his favorite picture.
A Marine Corps weapons company section sets up their mortar to take communist positions under fire near Chosin Reservoir. Photo by Katie Lange, courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps.

“War Never Changes”—a Marine, a “Hardcore Warrior,” and a Connection Across Generations in Uniform

A World War II soldier and a Marine walk into a bar. Over drinks, the two veterans discuss how to truly return home after war: Never stop serving others.
Brandon Alt, right, was one of at least six Marines and Navy corpsmen who deployed from Camp Pendleton, California, to Afghanistan in 2010 who later developed seizures or seizure-like episodes. Photo courtesy of Brandon Alt.

Mystery Seizures Haunt Marine Units a Decade after Deployment

Seizures among veterans are surging. Some blame PTS and TBI. Others blame toxic exposures.
Kayla and Brian on their wedding day in August, 2005. Photo courtesy of the author.

The “Toxic” Legacy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and Its Lingering Effects on Veterans and Military Families

“My orientation isn't a phase, and I’m not willing to leave a vital part of my identity hidden.” “Don’t ask, don’t tell” lingers for LQBTQ veterans.